She wrote for us this short but very detailed recap of the conference, with her 5 main takeaways.
Do you need to think outside the box? Being exposed to different products, cultures, ways of thinking, innovations and trends can help you build creative projects and results, with assertiveness and strategy.
Last week, I had the opportunity to participate in the national congress on sensory analysis in Italy, at the invitation of the Italian startup of sensory software Smart Sensory Box. The event was organized by Società Italiana di Scienze Sensoriali (SISS), and marked the comeback of face-to-face events in the country, with +100 professionals meeting in Matera, a city in southern Italy, known as Italian Cappadocia, after two long years of online events
Here are the main topics that attracted my attention.
Plant-based products: how can we help consumers understand that what they really need is a product with a better nutritional balance, which is not ultra-processed and is sustainable for the environment? It is very difficult to deliver all this in a plant-based product. We need to understand what are the priorities.
Reducing Food Waste: How can we help the industry to increase the sensory shelf life of products so that more people have access to them? How can you help make consumers aware that before throwing a product in the trash, it could be used for another culinary preparation? According to the UN, 17% of all food available for consumption is wasted in the world, and its aims are to reduce this amount by half by 2030.
Storytelling without Statistical Analysis: how can we implement qualitative methods that help you get appropriate results in the daily rush, complemented with statistical data from other studies, to deliver your message? It’s not about the result of the statistical analysis, it’s about the story you tell explaining the reasons of your study, the tools you used and the results you achieved, properly showcased and declined into clear and viable actions.
Co-creation with consumers: how are we “using” our consumers within our innovation and product development process? With the right resources available, we could continue investing in massive tests with 200+ consumers in order to make decisions based on robust data. However, if you live the reality of +80% of companies in Brazil (or in Italy, translator’s note!), you will need to launch products in a shorter time. For this reason, we should be willing to learn from the real feedback of the market, bet on agile qualitative methods and develop products while including your consumers in the process.
Consumer Profile: Do we still segment our consumers by gender, age group and frequency and consumption habits? For innovation and new product development projects, attitudinal habits, beliefs and personalities can help us to frame our consumers’ real problems and how our product can solve them, in an objective and inclusive way.